Before we found out our kids had ADHD, I tried a heap of different homeschool curriculum programs with them. In the past, I’ve talked about the Bermuda Triangle that is our homeschool closet. You know, curriculum goes in, but it doesn’t come out. 🙂
Having spent lots of money over the years and, admittedly, wasted more than necessary, I thought I’d share a couple of things I’ve learned in my efforts to find the best ADHD homeschool curriculum for our family. Hopefully, you can use these tips to find the best curriculum for your kids!
How to Find the Best ADHD Homeschool Curriculum for Your Family
Look for a program that is flexible.
One of the most important qualities parents of ADHD kids need is flexibility. If you’re homeschooling kids with ADHD, you’ll need a curriculum that is flexible as well.
As a result, I stay away from programs that are designed to be finished in a certain timeframe. If the list of topics is rigorous and requires that we maintain a consistent speed in order to finish it on time, I keep right on looking. I already know that the possibility of my kids completing the same amount of work each day is remote.
I prefer to use curriculum that allows us to go at our own speed. That way, I won’t feel the pressure of trying to get it “all covered” by a certain date and I won’t pass that anxiety on to the kids.
Find a curriculum that is already organized.
This part is super important. Disorganization is one of the biggest issues for kids (and parents) with ADHD. If the task of organizing the program in its entirety is left up to you, you may never get around to actually doing it.
You’ll probably need to adjust a few things to suit your kids, but if the program has a thorough outline, you’ll have a starting point for creating your lesson plans.
For example, we’re using Pearson Education EnVision Math with Tigger this year. The book already has the necessary concepts listed and they are structured in a way that naturally builds, so that I don’t have to worry about Tigger having to face concepts she’s unprepared for.
But, I divide the lessons into two or more days, which keeps Tigger from having to spend a long time on one subject. If I had the job of collecting all of the objectives, organizing them into lessons, and then deciding what to cover when, we still wouldn’t have started math this year….lol.
How did you choose the best ADHD homeschool curriculum for your family? Let us know in the comments!
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I have a daughter with ADHD and when I pulled her from public school to homeschool I could not afford to make curriculum mistakes (meaning, I couldn’t afford to buy a curriculum that might not work!) I was looking for something that I could use for a few days to see if it would work, and I needed it to be flexible. My daughter goes through periods of zooming ahead in her school work, followed by periods of getting quite far behind. What I decided on, almost 8 years ago, was Time4Learning. It is online, and my daughter loved the fact that it was online. It seems to work really well for visual learners, but also for students who learn through listening. Added benefit was that she could work at her own pace. There were no artificial deadlines and no long term contracts. I loved the fact, as a new homeschooler, that everything was already planned for me. I definitely share the idea that I can’t plan from day to day whether we will have a great school day, or a complete bomb as a school day. When I have tried to spend time to plan my own school schedule, without fail, my daughter blows my schedule (and incidentally, the hours I spent in the planning) completely out of the water. She either zooms ahead and does a week’s worth of work in a day, or she only gets one exercise of the many I planned for a day done, putting us immediately behind. This gives me a lot of stress. Time4Learning relieves this stress for me; it is already planned, regardless of her pace, and she can continue to make forward progress. Eight years later we still use T4L and my daughter began their high school this year. I cannot underscore your points boldly enough…the curriculum you choose for ADHD students must be flexible and preplanned!
Selena Robinson says
Hi Linda! I’ve heard great things about Time4Learning. So glad it’s working for you guys! And yes, we have the zooming ahead and lagging behind dynamic here too. Sigh. That’s life with ADHD.
Donna Peters says
I am So Happy that I came across this! I am struggling right now with choosing a curriculum for my son, who has not been diagnosed, but I am sure he may fall under the category. I really need help, we used Time4learnimg the last 2 1/2 years. I love, love love it! However My DS was getting bored with the History and well I was not sure How to make it interesting and we use Math U see for Math. I was not sure that it we should go with it again this year. So now I have been looking at My Fathers World, and All About Spelling, and Apologia Human Anatomy. Not Sure what to use for Grammar just printed a book of the web, and Writing is the worse subject for He and I. Really could use some help!! My DS is in 7th grade but we are focusing on 6th grade work.
Selena Robinson says
Hi Donna! We take a very relaxed approach to history and science. I take a topic (say, Ancient Egypt) and make it into a unit. We read books about it, do some crafts, try to learn a few Egyptian phrases, and so on. For spelling and grammar, I use the Charlotte Mason method, so we focus on reading “living books”, copywork, and narration. It’s worked well so far. 🙂
Thanks for visiting!
Hi, Donna I have a son who is going into 6th grade also with ADHD. I bought a curriculum for him but he quickly found it boring. So, I have been changing it slowly. Now, for history I have been using Veritas Press self paced history lessons. Its completely interactive. You can try it out for free for about two weeks. He loves it…. and it frees me to take care of my toddler. I think its the best decision I’ve made. I don’t follow a specific curriculum anymore; I pick and choose from what I find works for him. I do buy the material with lesson plans per subject.
Selena Robinson says
Hi! Self-paced is a great way to go for kids with attention issues. That way, if the material is on the easy side, they can move as quickly as they like. Or if it’s a little challenging, they can slow down and really take time to “get it” before moving on. And anything interactive is always a plus, right? 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!
For me, like you said, (as an ADD mom) I needed a kit that was laid out for us. I actually do need the deadlines or I will flounder and we will fall so far behind. I got the timberdoodle kit for kindergarten(goes through 8th grade) and LOVE all of the games and activities that are learning while doing type things(no part of this program is online/TV). There are also a lot of workbooks I am a finisher so as each page gets done we have a sense of accomplishment 🙂 It comes with a weekly check list so for example do 7 pages of the math workbook, read 1 phonics book, 4 pages from the handwriting book. I do not think I could handle something that tells excruciatingly step by step what to do…I could not find time to do all of the teacher prep reading beforehand (or keep it all organized in my head) I do not think. With this program I can check it off as we go and do not sweat it if we did not quite meet the goals; just try to get them the next week. My daughter is sort of in review mode with many of the language subject items so there are times it says do 11 pages per week and we do 18-20, so if she is into it we just go with it. I like to just do one larger subject and one smaller one per day, instead of doing 1 page from math, 1 from history, and 1 from reading each day for example, again I would get lost in the disorganization. I sharpied right on each cover do 7 pages per week so I can quickly see our goal. While doing the workbooks my daughter who we suspect to have add absolutely must be moving some part of her body while listening and I have come to terms with it and allow it as long as she is still looking at the book.
Selena Robinson says
I’ve heard great things about Timberdoodle. And I share your view of deadlines. I love them. If I don’t have a deadline, I simply will not do anything…lol.
O Parks says
Our son would likely be considered ADD if he were in ps. We use Math U See and love it. Not too many problems and Mr. Demme explains things very well on the video. The manipulative blocks are great for number sense and for showing them how math works.
My son was diagnosis with ADHD when he was 5 years of age. He has been in the public school system since kindergarten. I am beyond frustrated with his schools. We are a military family and move often. So it is a constant battle at schools. I believe my son would benefit from homeschool and it would take the pressure off of having to compete with the rest of the students. He has lost so much confidence in himself. It is depressing to watch. We will be moving to a new duty station in a couple of months. I am looking for suggestion on what curriculum has worked for your students and resources on how to get started. We will be moving to California. If anyone has experience in how they got started with homeschool in this particular state, it would really be helpful. Thank You.
Selena Robinson says
Hi! I’ve been using Khan Academy, lots of field trips, and PBS Learning Media for my kids lately. It’s working wonders, especially because it’s video-heavy.
What grade is your son in?